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Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2004

Fiona Murray and Mary Tripsas

While it is widely recognized that firms in an era of technological ferment exist under conditions of significant uncertainty and ambiguity, little is known about the…

Abstract

While it is widely recognized that firms in an era of technological ferment exist under conditions of significant uncertainty and ambiguity, little is known about the exact processes through which firms explore their ideas and resolve uncertainty. Arguing that our understanding of the era of ferment is much less developed than other aspects of the technology life cycle, we examine the micro-dynamics of technology-based entrepreneurial firms during this period. We focus on the role of purposeful experimentation as a key form of learning for start-ups firms in the era of ferment. Our approach contrasts with the prevailing view in the literature in which the era of ferment is characterized by extensive experimentation across firms, with each firm representing a single data point in an industry-level experiment. It also extends the learning literature by focusing on start-ups and taking the perspective that learning can encompass purposeful experimentation as well as local search and chaotic adaptation in the era of ferment. Building on the literature on experimental design, we propose a definition and taxonomy of purposeful experimentation. The taxonomy defines the experimental landscape as having three domains – technological, product and business model; and two dimensions – degree of simultaneity and degree of parameter manipulation. We examine this framework using data from a technology-based start-up and find evidence for purposeful experimentation as a key element of the firm’s learning strategy. We also highlight the organizational constraints and challenges that are associated with experimentation. Our findings emphasize the importance of entrepreneurial action, choice and internal experimentation processes.

Details

Business Strategy over the Industry Lifecycle
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-135-4

Article
Publication date: 16 March 2020

Carolina Lopez-Nicolas, Shahrokh Nikou, Francisco-Jose Molina-Castillo and Harry Bouwman

By drawing on various theoretical approaches and a gender perspective, this paper aims to examine business model (BM) experimentation as a step towards BM experimentation

Abstract

Purpose

By drawing on various theoretical approaches and a gender perspective, this paper aims to examine business model (BM) experimentation as a step towards BM experimentation capabilities as an outcome and, as such, a key antecedent to firm performance.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, using a unique data set of 444 European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the authors draw on various theoretical perspectives to devise a structural equation model that examines BM experimentation as a step towards business model innovation (BMI) as an outcome and, as such, a key antecedent to firm performance. Potential differences are examined between female-owned and non-female-owned businesses with regard to hypothesized relations.

Findings

Multi-group analysis results reveal that drivers of BM experimentation and the paths linking BM experimentation to overall firm performance are different for female owners in comparison to male owners.

Research limitations/implications

Theoretical and practical implications are various. For SME entrepreneurs, experimenting with their BMs does lead to improved performance.

Practical implications

Theoretical and practical implications are various. For SME entrepreneurs, experimenting with their BMs does lead to improved performance.

Originality/value

Despite the increasing number of papers focussing on the relationship between BM and firm performance, the focus on female entrepreneurship, gender differences and BMI, more specifically the process of BMI as BM experimentation, is relatively rare.

Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Martin Brynskov, Adriënne Heijnen, Mara Balestrini and Christoph Raetzsch

The purpose of this paper is to discuss how experimentation with open Internet of Things data can be institutionalised in an inclusive manner at scale.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss how experimentation with open Internet of Things data can be institutionalised in an inclusive manner at scale.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is conceptual, addressing key challenges discussed in the literature on experimental cities. This exposition of the problem of scaling experimentation is anchored in findings from two projects (Dampbusters and OrganiCity), which seek to implement experimentation as a practice of sustainable digital urban development.

Findings

One central finding is that local interventions need transferable frameworks and mechanisms to achieve scaling effects of experimentation as a practice. In addition, experimentation must embed common engagement principles, structures of data and interfaces, and governance principles across use cases to be scaled.

Originality/value

The authors outline how and why experimentation can be a useful approach to address challenges of implementing urban informatics into concrete uses and procedures for co-creation. Based on reports from two projects, the authors develop recommendations for experimentation at scale that reflect the need for engagement principles, the need for common data structures and interfaces, as well as governance principles.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 March 2022

Julian Birkinshaw and Maya Gudka

Many theories have been proposed to understand and improve the process of leadership development. One useful way to structure the literature is around three complementary…

Abstract

Purpose

Many theories have been proposed to understand and improve the process of leadership development. One useful way to structure the literature is around three complementary perspectives, briefly summarized as the “knowing, doing and being” dimensions of leadership. While the complementarities between these perspectives have been discussed, the mechanisms by which they are linked are less clear. The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of experimentation as one such mechanism.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on interviews and prior literature, the authors argue that experimentation consists of two processes: task-prototyping focused on the work overseen by the leader and self-prototyping focused on how the leader relates to others. This study proposes a theoretical framework linking experimentation to action-taking (e.g. being entrepreneurial and taking on challenging assignments), which in turn links to leader effectiveness. The authors test the hypotheses on two groups of leaders (481 business school alumni and 310 financial services leaders).

Findings

The authors find evidence that both forms of experimentation provide significant explanatory power in understanding why some individuals engage in higher levels of action-taking than others. Additionally, their study confirms the central role of action-taking in leadership development.

Originality/value

Conceptually, this study distinguishes two dimensions of experimentation and their connection to action-taking, knowledge development and identity development. Empirically, the authors show that these two experimentation activities were significant predictors of action-taking, even after controlling for all other factors, and that action-taking (along with self-prototyping) was an important predictor of leader effectiveness. The results offer a practical framework for leadership and development professionals to use in designing and evaluating leadership development activities.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 41 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 May 2020

Brian Leavy

In this interview with Harvard innovation expert Stefan H.Thomke about his latest book, Experimentation Works: The Surprising Power of Business Experiments, he pays…

Abstract

Purpose

In this interview with Harvard innovation expert Stefan H.Thomke about his latest book, Experimentation Works: The Surprising Power of Business Experiments, he pays tribute to the scientific method and “the engine that has powered” it over the centuries, the “humble experiment.”

Design/methodology/approach

Professor Thomke anticipates a burgeoning role for business experimentation, one that it is already playing across the value chain, particularly in leading online companies.

Findings

Digital experimentation tools have the potential to revolutionize a company’s R&D, but they can also transform entire industries by shifting experimentation–and thus product innovation–to users and customers.

Practical implications

The ability to access large customer samples, to automatically collect huge amounts of data about user interactions on websites and apps, and to run concurrent experiments gives companies an unprecedented opportunity to evaluate many ideas quickly, with great precision, and at a negligible cost per additional experiment.

Originality/value

Product development is being transformed by rapid experimentation: all aspects of software–including user interfaces, security applications and back-end changes–can now be subjected to A/B tests.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 48 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Article
Publication date: 20 May 2020

Stephen Denning

Some organizations are responding to the opportunity of innovation, while others are not. Harvard innovation expert Stefan H. Thomke says a key reason for the slow pace of…

Abstract

Purpose

Some organizations are responding to the opportunity of innovation, while others are not. Harvard innovation expert Stefan H. Thomke says a key reason for the slow pace of innovation is that most organizations lack "a culture of experimentation." In this article the author explains the impediments to establishing such a culture. 10;

Design/methodology/approach

In his latest book, Experimentation Works: The Surprising Power of Business Experiments, 10;Thomke says, to create a culture of experimentation, firms need “a new model of leadership,” which cultivates curiosity, emphasizes data-informed decisions, experiments ethically, sets grand challenges and establishes systematic training and support for rapid experimentation. Those are all positive steps in the direction of creating a culture of experimentation.

Findings

But they won’t be enough because the underlying management model of most big organizations is explicitly aimed at preventing the very kind of experimentation that Thomke is recommending.

Practical implications

In a digital world, technology has made it radically simpler and quicker and cheaper to carry out and evaluate multiple experiments. The whole organization needs to become an organic living network of high-performance teams. In such firms competence resides throughout the organization and that innovation can and must come from anywhere. 10;

Originality/value

An important discussion of how top down managements squelch experimentation and thus throttle innovation.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 48 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Anne Douglas and Melehat Nil Gulari

The purpose of this paper is to address the following questions: in what sense does experimentation as improvisation lead to methodological innovation? What are the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the following questions: in what sense does experimentation as improvisation lead to methodological innovation? What are the implications of artistic experimentation as improvisation for education and learning?

Design/methodology/approach

The paper tracks the known concept within research of “experimentation” with a view to revealing how practice-led research in art works distinctively with experimentation. It proposes experimentation as improvisation drawing on a research project Sounding Drawing 2012 as an example. The paper situates art experimentation as improvisation in art (Cage, 1995) anthropology (Hallam and Ingold, 2007; Bateson, 1989) and the theoretical work of Arnheim (1986) on forms of cognition.

Findings

Arts research as improvisation is participatory, relational and performative retaining the research subject in its life context. The artist as researcher starts with open-ended critical questions for which there are no known methods or immediate answer. By setting up boundary conditions from the outset and understanding the situatedness and contingencies of those conditions, the artist as improviser seeks ways of not only avoiding chaos and the arbitrary but also being trapped by what is already known.

Originality/value

This approach is important within and beyond the arts because it consciously draws together different forms of cognition – intuition and relational knowledge and also sequential knowledge. It is also significant because it offers a different epistemology in which new knowledge emerges in the relationship between participants in the research taking form in co-creation. These qualities all position improvisation as a research paradigm and a counterpoint to positivism.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 23 February 2015

Maria Cristina Longo

The research analyzes good practices in health care “management experimentation models,” which fall within the broader range of the integrative public–private partnerships…

Abstract

Purpose

The research analyzes good practices in health care “management experimentation models,” which fall within the broader range of the integrative public–private partnerships (PPPs). Introduced by the Italian National Healthcare System in 1991, the “management experimentation models” are based on a public governance system mixed with a private management approach, a patient-centric orientation, a shared financial risk, and payment mechanisms correlated with clinical outcomes, quality, and cost-savings. This model makes public hospitals more competitive and efficient without affecting the principles of universal coverage, solidarity, and equity of access, but requires higher financial responsibility for managers and more flexibility in operations.

Methodology/approach

In Italy the experience of such experimental models is limited but successful. The study adopts the case study methodology and refers to the international collaboration started in 1997 between two Italian hospitals and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC – Pennsylvania, USA) in the field of organ transplants and biomedical advanced therapies.

Findings

The research allows identifying what constitutes good management practices and factors associated with higher clinical performance. Thus, it allows to understand whether and how the management experimentation model can be implemented on a broader basis, both nationwide and internationally. However, the implementation of integrative PPPs requires strategic, cultural, and managerial changes in the way in which a hospital operates; these transformations are not always sustainable.

Originality/value

The recognition of ISMETT’s good management practices is useful for competitive benchmarking among hospitals specialized in organ transplants and for its insights on the strategies concerning the governance reorganization in the hospital setting. Findings can be used in the future for analyzing the cross-country differences in productivity among well-managed public hospitals.

Book part
Publication date: 28 August 2020

Virginia Cha, Yi Ruan and Michael Frese

This study enriches the theory of effectuation by discussing the four independent dimensions of effectuation and their relationships with causation. Additionally, we fill…

Abstract

This study enriches the theory of effectuation by discussing the four independent dimensions of effectuation and their relationships with causation. Additionally, we fill the gap in prior literature by showing how entrepreneurial experience moderates the relationship between effectuation and innovativeness of the venture. Our study of 171 practising entrepreneurs regarding their entrepreneurial decision-making logic yielded multiple findings. The authors find that entrepreneurs rely on causation as well as effectuation in their decision-making; the more experienced entrepreneurs are, the more they actually use causation; and entrepreneurial experience moderates the relationship between effectuation and innovativeness of the venture firm.

Details

The Entrepreneurial Behaviour: Unveiling the cognitive and emotional aspect of entrepreneurship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-508-6

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 February 2021

Pedro Henrique Dutra de Abreu Mancini de Azevedo and Larissa Passos Silva

Project management practices have been losing its central place in innovation processes within the companies due to its excessive control-oriented phased approach. Hence…

Abstract

Purpose

Project management practices have been losing its central place in innovation processes within the companies due to its excessive control-oriented phased approach. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to propose and examine the project management practitioners' experiences on the systematic use of an experimentation framework to manage innovation projects.

Design/methodology/approach

Three case studies were carried out in three different Brazilian companies for a ten month period. The authors have chosen these companies for the following reasons: they were all in an innovation context; they have never carried out a project based on experimentation and they had previous experience with project management traditional tools.

Findings

The findings have shown that our framework can contribute to the project management available toolkit; once the rigid experimentation process, the authors’ proposed made it easier for project management practitioners to adapt to more flexible approaches. Nonetheless, stakeholders' involvement has shown to be a key success factor on the deployment of the framework.

Practical implications

Managers still need to add expertise in flexible methods into their managerial skills, so they are able to deal with innovation just as they deal with traditional processes they were trained to. This suggestion can also be extended to the business schools.

Originality/value

The case studies have shown that traditional project management practices can also be applied in innovation projects. So despite of generally being the opposite of an experimentation process, those practices are relevant in project management discipline, which means that formal project management training is still a good ally to project management practitioners.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

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